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HKT Deploys 5G SA Network For Industrial Applications

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By Juan Pedro Tomás

Hong Kong operator HKT says it has built a 5G Standalone (SA) network architecture capable of network slicing which supports industrial grade applications.

In a release, HKT noted that its 5G SA network can dedicate a network slice for an ultra-high speed and ultra-low latency transmission channel necessary for time-critical communications.

HKT explained that each network slice is created with logically isolated network resource designed with a defined service quality to serve specific vertical applications such as autonomous driving, smart healthcare, VR/AR/360 Ultra High Definition (UHD) video services, cloud gaming, and others.

HKT also claimed to be the first mobile operator in Hong Kong using a 5G SA network with network slicing for a trial of C-V2X applications on public roads. The smart mobility project applies 5G network slicing on C-V2X to enhance road safety in the city with the first trial recently conducted on a designated 14-kilometer route from the Hong Kong Science Park to Shatin town. C-V2X road side units (RSU) are installed on traffic light poles and lamp posts along the designated route for providing real-time traffic intelligence to onboard units (OBU) installed inside the vehicles.

C-V2X is a cellular-based Vehicle-to-Everything communication system connecting with vehicles and road infrastructure. It allows vehicles to communicate with other vehicles (V2V), with pedestrians (V2P), with network (V2N) and with road infrastructure (V2I) such as traffic lights.

“Smart mobility is one of the key elements of the Government’s Smart City Blueprint and C-V2X is the enabling technology that will transform urban transport,” said managing director of engineering at HKT, Peter Lam. “With the emerging 5G technology, autonomous driving will revolutionize the experience of transport and help Hong Kong evolve into a world-class smart city.”

HKT, China Mobile Hong Kong and Hutchinson launched commercial 5G services in Hong Kong in April 2020, while SmarTone announced the launch of commercial 5G services in the territory using Ericsson’s Dynamic Spectrum Technology (DSS) in May of last year.

Local operators had acquired 200 megahertz of 3.5 GHz spectrum in mid-October 2019. Those 5G licenses will be valid for a 15-year period.

Last week, Hong Kong’s Communications Authority (CA) confirmed that it expects to award a total of 325 megahertz of spectrum in various frequency bands in the fourth quarter of this year.

CA stated the sale will provide 220 megahertz of new spectrum in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz and 4.9 GHz bands, along with 105 megahertz of re-assigned 850 MHz and 2.5 GHz to 2. 6GHz.

The regulator also said that the available spectrum will meet the needs of various innovative applications such as 5G mobile services.

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